One of the four gubernatorial candidates introduced to at the California Republican state party’s semi-annual convention last week spent a decade in prison for convictions for voluntary manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape, according to the LA Times.
Speaking before hundreds of delegates and supporters, Glenn Champ, 48, did not directly address colorful history, choosing instead to explain, “In my life, I’ve been held accountable because of my stupidity. I do not want anyone else to be enslaved because of their lack of knowledge.”
Champ was one of four candidates speaking at the convention – introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte – speaking between leading GOP gubernatorial candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
Champ’s criminal history is extensive. Court records show that he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm in 1992. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and was placed on the state’s sex-offender registry.
In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute. In the same year he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.
In an interview with KMJ radio in Fresno, Champ addressed his criminal past.
Explaining his assault case, he said, “was just for picking up some underage prostitutes” resulting in a 90-day jail sentence.
The incident, he sent, left him a changed man.
“I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes,” Champ said. “I was like most people, ignorant in the darkness, in the very dark. I had no peace, had no love, had no joy. And now I do. Praise God for that…. I’ve grown considerably since I met Christ.”
Champ called the voluntary manslaughter case a “tragic accident.”
“There was a situation where the gentleman, he was a little bit drunk and was trying to get violent and I left the area as quick as I could and apparently he got in the way. I didn’t see him or even know I hit him until about four hours later, till it came on the news,” Champ said.
Champ explained that experience with the criminal justice system could help him deal with politicians in Sacramento, calling them criminals.
Saying that politicians routinely infringe upon constitutionally protected gun rights, Champ said, “I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it, and that’s something [other politicians] don’t get.”
[Image Champ for Governor website]